I still crack up when I remember an interview CityBeat
's Jason Gargano did with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino around the time the band's debut masterwork, Turn on the Bright Lights
, was riding high. The drummer said the band was already sick of the comparisons they were getting, most notably the one that linked them to late '70s Post Punk blueprint designers, Joy Division.
"Paul (Banks, singer/guitarist) didn't even know who Ian Curtis was," he said. That notion seems unfathomable -- it's like Scott Weiland saying he'd never heard of this Eddie Vedder guy everyone was saying he sounds like back when "Plush" was a hit. Though certainly much more than a Joy Division tribute band, Joy Division's ghost is all over every Interpol album, including their latest (and first for Capitol Records), Our Love to Admire
. Though they're reined in and personalized a lot more here, the band's influences are nothing to be ashamed of. Especially now that Interpol has become comfortable with their own
sound. The new one is their most multidimensional yet -- the songs and textures are richer, the melodies a bit more expansive and the dynamics magnetically diverse. And the dapper, dour gentlemen show a sense of humor on at least one track, "No I In Threesome" (as in "there's no 'I' in 'Threesome"). Our Love
feels like the record Interpol has been building up to all this time -- the colors are still dark, yet somehow brighter (fluorescent neon grey?), the droning has been tempered and the movement of the songs is a bit more "extroverted." This is their best album since Bright Lights
; fans won't be disappointed a bit with Interpol's "major-label sell-out." Except for that track with guests Snoop Dogg and Avril Lavigne. (Just kidding.) (Mike Breen) Grade: A-